Real Simple Weddings Wedding Vows Writing Checklist Wedding Vows Writing Checklist Can't find the right words? Use this checklist to pen meaningful wedding vows. By Real Simple Editors Advertisement Save FB Tweet ellipsis More Pinterest Mail Email iphone Send Text Message Print Image zoom Getty Images Checklist Create a Personalized Plan Talk to your officiant. Get the green light from your officiant to personalize your own vows. (Some houses of worship require you to recite traditional vows.) Set expectations by asking your partner the following questions: Will you write your vows together? Will you share your written words with each other before the wedding day? Is there an ideal length for your vows? Is there anything too personal that you don’t want to be shared in public? Decide on any religious references. If your spiritual leanings are loosely defined, or if the two of you were raised in different faiths, have a soul-searching discussion with your fiance at least one month before the wedding to talk about what brings meaning to your life and how best to incorporate those ideals into your vows. Get Inspired Exchange love letters (yes, love letters) with your fiancé beforehand. It may sound cheesy, but exchanging sentimental notes of appreciation will strengthen your bond and help get those creative juices flowing. Keep a copy of the letter you write, and reread both notes when starting to compose your vows. Revisit your relationship. Look at souvenirs from early first dates, return to locations or landmarks of importance, and flip through photos to stir up old memories. Recall details from other weddings. Consider weddings you've attended as a guest and recall the exchange of vows—what elements did you like the best? What details made you cringe? Take these learnings and adapt them for your own unforgettable ceremony. Start Writing Keep the words positive and personal. There’s no need to relate the storms you two have weathered. Also, avoid words or phrases you wouldn’t normally use—don’t just pick a passage to quote because it sounds eloquent. Consider meaningful quotes or passages. Insert a beloved passage from a favorite children’s book or lullaby, if that's your thing. Bounce ideas off friends, relatives, and your officiant. If you’re nervous about the words you’ve written, get honest feedback from a trusted friend or brutally honest family member. Prepare for the Ceremony Practice your vows. In the days leading up to your wedding, look into the mirror and recite the vows aloud. Take it slow; this will help your voice resonate. Familiarity with your vows will inspire confidence. Reading your vows off your phone is a definite no-no. Instead, write down a final version of your vows in a vow book for safekeeping, and do your best to commit those words to memory before saying "I do." Have your maid of honor carry a copy to the altar in case nerves leave you tongue-tied.